When you think about your training and fitness goals, it’s easy to hyperfocus on your workouts. When will you train? How often will you work out this week? What will the intensity be?
However, the time you spend at the gym is only one part of an individual’s training plan. Other pieces of a plan include nutrition, hydration, mobility work, recovery, and sleep.
Sleep doesn’t seem like it would play a role in your training, but it is vital to achieving your fitness goals. Here are three ways sleep affects your athletic success:
Less Risk for Injury
Once you fall asleep, your body goes to work. When you’re sleeping, your body has the chance to rebuild and repair your cells and systems. The rebuilding processes that happen while you’re asleep prepare you for your next workout. If you’re not getting much sleep, then you’re not getting much repair time. As a result, your risk for injury goes up.
Improved Mental Skills
Sleep doesn’t just rebuild your body or keep your muscles from feeling sore. The rebuilding also occurs in your brain and nervous system. Getting a good night’s sleep keeps you sharp and helps you make better decisions. Good decision-making can show up in your food choices. Less mental fatigue leads to more willpower. You’re more likely to choose a salad instead of french fries or walk past the box of donuts in the break room at work.
Decreased Chance of Illness
Every workout puts stress on your body. Small doses of physical stress are fine, as long as you give your body a chance to recover. The pattern of stress-recovery is how you progressively become fitter. However, if the recovery period is neglected, then the stress starts to have a negative impact. Physical stress without rest periods weakens your immune system. By making sleep a priority, you’re giving your immune system a chance to recharge. You’ll decrease your chances of getting sick, and you’ll be able to maintain your workout routine without interruption.
To learn more about how MagMile CrossFit in Chicago can help you reach your fitness goals, reach out to us today. We look forward to meeting you soon!